DAMAGE DONE: Fire crews are on scene to assist with a grass fire.
DAMAGE DONE: Fire crews are on scene to assist with a grass fire. Anna Moo

HIGHWAY HORROR: Visitors race to help as flames engulf truck

A man has lost thousands of dollars worth of feed and is being treated for smoke inhalation after his truck erupted into fire on the Cunningham Highway this afternoon.

Josh Cormack and Anna Moo were driving from Toowoomba to Warwick when they noticed smoke rising from the hay bales packed onto the truck in front of them.

As the couple drove closer they realised the hay was on fire and it was spreading quickly.

"It caught on so fast,” Ms Moo said.

"The driver was trying to get off the road as much as he could and he was driving a bit panicked.

"He crossed the highway and we pulled up our truck behind him and raced over.”

Eight passers-by stopped to assist the man extinguish the flames, with fire extinguishers some happened to have handy in their cars.

"We were trying to get there as quickly as possible but the extinguishers just weren't doing the job,” Ms Moo said.

"Everyone tried to pull off what they could to save it but you'd pull a bit off and it would just start off again.

"The fire literally engulfed half the truck.”

The driver of the truck paced quickly around the scene, trying to figure out what he could do to save his feed as thick, black smoke filled the air.

"He just looked devastated,” Ms Moo said.

"He's probably had a really hard time getting that feed and now it's all gone.

Mr Cormack estimated the feed was worth around $2000.

Onlookers dispersed once the air became too hot to handle and they thought the truck was on the verge of exploding.

"We thought it would blow so we all ran,” Miss Moo said.

"Luckily it didn't, but we were quite concerned it might cause a big bushfire.”

Emergency services were called to the scene, just past the Warwick Caltex, at 12.12pm.

Six fire crews are currently battling the blaze which has spread to the surrounding grass.

Ms Moo said onlookers tried to help before crews arrived by patting down the grass with wet towels.

The driver of the truck is being treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, according to the Queensland Ambulance Service.

A spokeswoman for the QAS said the driver was speaking in full sentences and didn't sound as though he was gravely injured.

What Ms Moo was more concerned about, however, was the man's mental well being.

"That could have been his last chance to try and get ahead with his cattle,” she said.

"It's really sad.”

The onlookers are appealing for anyone who may know the identity of the driver to come forward so they may attempt to help him further.



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